United Biscuits to restart full production at flood-hit plant

By John Wood

- Last updated on GMT

Full production is set to restart at UB's Carlisle production plant – visited in January by Prince Charles
Full production is set to restart at UB's Carlisle production plant – visited in January by Prince Charles

Related tags Flood Biscuit

United Biscuits (UB) is about to re-start full production at its factory in Carlisle, Cumbria, which was devastated by floods at the end of last year.

On December 5 2015 several feet of floodwater in the factory, caused by Storm Desmond, damaged the site’s electrical equipment and ovens.

The shutdown affected brands such as McVitie’s, Jacob’s, Carr’s and Crawford’s, with many retailers reporting they had run out of stocks. But the company said it expected to re-start deliveries towards the end of this month.

540t of debris

Since the flood, 540t of debris have been cleared and all employees have now returned to work.

UB said normal production will commence very soon across all lines – including the production of around 250,000 Ginger Nuts every hour.

UB factory general manager said: “The flooding in northern England at the end of last year was devastating for thousands of people and businesses in the area, and the impact was felt across the UK.”

He said that since the floods there had been extensive extensive coverage in the media around the “biscuit shortage”​ with consumers wanting UB’s products back on shelves as quickly as possible.

He added: “This encouragement from our loyal biscuit fans has kept our teams going and we thank everyone for their support. We also appreciate the collaboration from our retail and trade customers.

“It’s been awful not to be baking biscuits, so we thank everyone that has helped us along the way to get production back up and running.”

‘Speedy turnaround of the factory’

Ali Ulker, vice chairman of UB’s parent company Yildiz Holding, recently visited the site and commented: “I am very proud to witness first-hand the speedy turnaround of the factory getting operations back up and running. A big thanks goes to our employees for their tireless efforts to meet our consumer needs and get biscuits back into production.”

UB employees in Carlisle, and at other sites, have also been rallying together to help the local community affected by the flooding, through biscuit donations and various fundraising activities.

Heaney said: “We’re extremely proud of how employees have come together to support the wider local community raising necessary funds and providing biscuits.”

In addition, a company contribution from United Biscuits and parent company Yildiz Holding has been offered to the Cumbria Community Foundation for the 2015 Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal.

Ulker said: “We are very pleased to be supporting the local area through our donation to the Cumbria Community Foundation.”

Andy Beeforth, chief executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, added: “The boost to the Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal from United Biscuits and Yildiz Holding is fantastic news.

“We have over 6,000 families affected by the floods in our county and we are grateful to everyone who has made a donation large or small.”

Meanwhile, Prince Charles visited the Carlisle factory in January, when limited production restarted​.

In January Nestlé and Morrisons both donated £200,000 to flood relief​.

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